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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Embracing Imperfections in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Embracing Imperfections in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Based on their book No More Perfect Marriages, Mark and Jill Savage openly discuss the marital struggles they've had, sharing valuable lessons for other couples who want to avoid the same mistakes. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

Teaser:

Mr. Mark Savage: I had created an environment for Jill to not be happy.

Jim Daly: So, you owned it.

Mark: I owned it andin looking back, there [are] different seasons that have been opened up by conflict. And so often, when those conflicts happen, we will pull back or reject the opportunity and I just saw more opportunity to keep becoming the man I needed to become that, that was priority.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: A remarkable confession by Mark Savage about his marriage and how to work through some of the inevitable challenges that come up between a husband and wife. And how about you? Can you acknowledge the flaws in your relationship and mistakes you’ve made and then work toward resolving those issues with your spouse? We’re going to hear more about that from Mark and his wife, Jill Savage on today’s “Focus on the Family.” Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, I don’t know about you and Dena, but Jean and I are pretty much a perfect couple. I mean, we’re just perfect.

John: I’ve observed that. It all works so well.

Jim: No conflict, no mistakes and nothin’ goes wrong in our marriage. I don’t know about you.

John: Oh, pretty much the same. (Laughter) It’s just been 32 years of bliss!

Jim: Now can I just say obviously that’s not true and the fact is, most married couples—now I know some of you listening, ’cause I’ve met you when I travel and speak or meet the folks who support us in different cities around the country—you will say to me, “You know, my husband and I, we don’t really argue.” That’s a good thing. You probably have arrived at a wonderful place, but there are more couples that do have disagreements and maybe some real serious ones.

We are gonna talk about not just that, but so much more in marriage communication, what happens when it breaks down, what’s normal for most marriages. The problem usually comes when you get tired of those disagreements, the little nagging. Maybe you get a little bitter. You begin to feel disconnected and maybe discontented.

And you begin to develop that bitterness and it just gets you and that strength, that bond in marriage becomes weaker. We want to strengthen your marriage and we have a great program planned for you.

John: Well, we do. You might be in a situation that, there are some minor irritations but things are [going] pretty well. Or you might have more serious disagreements. I think you’ll really appreciate the insights that Mark and Jill Savage have for us today. They write and speak a lot about marriage and family and Jill is the founder and former CEO of Hearts at Home, which is a ministry for moms. And she’s been a guest on this program, Jim, lots of times. Mark was a pastor for 20 years and he has a business of home repair and remodeling. I’ll get his number so he can come over later.

Jim: Get a cable show? (Laughter)

John: And the Savages have five young adult children and three grandkids.

Body:

Jim: Hey, welcome Mark and Jill back to “Focus on the Family.”

Mrs. Jill Savage: Thank you.

Mark: Yeah, thank you.

Jim: Now I just want to throw out there, for Jean and [me], we would have a perfect marriage if it wasn’t for me, ’cause Jean’s perfect. (Laughter)

Jill: Well, you just keep on believing that.

Jim: Okay. (Laughter) Points. (Laughter)

John: Make sure she hears that. (Laughter)

Jim: That was just brutally, you know, right out there, right?

John: It’s kind of patently false, I think.

Jim: No, of course not. What motivated you to write this book though? Why did you decide? You sat down and you said, okay, let’s do a book on imperfect marriage.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: Well, you know, actually this is the third of a series. The first book I wrote was No More Perfect Moms. And that looks at what I call the “perfection infection,” which is when we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and we unfairly compare ourselves to others. And moms do this, particularly because of social media because we are constantly seeing other moms and comparing ourselves to them.

The second book was No More Perfect Kids, which is what happens when the “perfection infection” invades our parenting and we have unrealistic expectations of our kids and unfairly compare them to others.

Well, then honestly from day one, when No More Perfect Moms came out, the questions that I got most often through Facebook and e-mail, when is No More Perfect Marriages coming out? And what people didn’t know at that point in time is, that our marriage was in a huge healing season from a pretty big crisis that we had gone through. And I had shared openly about that in No More Perfect Moms, but not to the extent that we share about in No More Perfect Marriages.

Jim: Well, and before we get to that part of the story, which may be next time, I want to talk about your family or origin, who you were as people. Mark, let’s start with you. What kind of family did you grow up in and how much impact did that have on you as an adult? We tend not to connect those dots the way we should.

Jim: We should be students of our family of origin, ’cause it would help us so much [to] understand who we are.

Jill: Uh-hm.

Mark: Absolutely.

Jim: I mean, how many times do you say, “Oh, I’m acting just like my dad?” Or worse and I’ve said this, “You’re actin’ just like your mom.” (Laughter) Let me just say to the husbands, don’t say that!

John: Yes. (Laughter) Bad idea.

Jim: That was not a good moment for me.

Mark: Yeah, that’s right up there at the top. (Laughing)

Jim: A silent observation (Laughter), but Mark, what did you see going on and relate that to your childhood. So, what kind of childhood did you have?

Mark: My parents divorced when I was 2 and I didn’t see my real father much at all until I was an adult. And then, I found myself parenting him more than he was a father to me. And my stepdad, he grew up in a very controlling, physically unhealthy environment and that passed onto him. And so, there was a lot of violence and just abuse and a lot of just a mess.

Jim: When the awakening of that, were you 13, 14, 15 when you were going, “What is goin’ on?” You know, in a more adult-like fashion, to where you understood this is not healthy?

Mark: Yes, I think it nagged at me that it wasn’t right, but it wasn’t until I was married to Jill and we actually stayed at my parents’ home and there was a lot of arguing and some violence there that night, that I realized from Jill’s fear, that this isn’t right.

And I began shortly thereafter just a journey of trying to figure out what is right? And I think I have struggled with that my whole life of the issues from my family of origin and the huge gap of not having a[n] engaged healthy father in my life.

Jim: And so, to get this seated in our minds, you’re in an abusive environment. It’s chaos. It’s arguments every day.

Mark: Uh-hm.

Jim: Nobody could resolve conflict. It was just, you know, it was just always boiling water.

Mark: Always.

Jim: Is that a fair description?

Mark: I would say so, yes.

Jim: All right and Jill, you’re kind of coming from what kind of background?

Jill: I came from really the opposite of that. (Laughter)

Jim: What does that look like though?

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: The perfect home? (Laughter)

Jill: Well, you know, as much as there was, you know, in conflict, there was violence in his home, in my home, I think we’d like to believe there wasn’t conflict. We just, you know, kind of, if things were hard, we’d sweep it under the carpet and move on, but at the same time, it was a very loving environment. My parents, still married, been married over 56 years.

Jim: Way to go, mom and dad.

Jill: Yes, absolutely and they supported me in everything I did. I mean, they were on the front row and you know, believed in all of my sisters and I, that we could do anything that we set out mind to.

Jim: Let me ask you about that environment and I understand it. I mean, I think a lot of Christian homes are exactly that, where you know, conflict’s gonna happen because we’re imperfect. We’ll just sweep it under the rug. Let’s be joyful. Let’s be happy. Let’s praise the Lord and there’s good wisdom in that.

Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: But there is this underlying weakness, too, where we don’t really get to the issues.

Jill: Right and one of the things Mark and I have come to understand is, the home you grew up in, we call it “your home internship.” It’s where you interned in conflict resolution. It’s where you interned in communication. It’s where you interned in your perspectives about sex, I mean, all of those things.

Jim: That can be pretty scary. Some people are going, “Uh-oh.” (Laughter)

Jill: Serious.

Mark: Yes.

Jill: So, one of the things we’ve realized is, okay, go back. Look at that home internship and then determine where you need to do a new internship? And so, we both realized as we looked at, like conflict resolution. Okay, we were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Okay, but what’s healthy at somewhere in the middle?

Jim: Now where were you in that discussion? Were you married or dating or engaged?

Jill: Oh, no, married by that time.

Mark: Right.

Jim: So you’re already married and how did that love story start? How did you guys find each other? How did you fall in love?

Mark: Well, it began with Jill and I had two friends that had, over quite a period of time, pushed us to meet, to do the whole blind date thing. And neither Jill [nor] I wanted to do that.

Jim: How old were you at this point, roughly?

Mark: I was 21. Jill was–

Jill: Nineteen.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: Okay.

Mark: I pursued a younger woman.

Jill: Oh, I guess I was 18 at the time.

Mark: Eighteen.

Jim: Okay, let’s stop there. (Laughter) Hold at 18. (Laughter)

Jill: I was 19 when we got married. (Laughter)

Jim: So, okay, you meet; you fall in love. You’re gonna get married. Are you seeing that you’re opposites? Are you thinking, we’re so alike?

Jill: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, what was your 20-20 vision at that time?

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: No, we had stars in our eyes.

Jim: So, you were legally blind.

Jill: Exactly! (Laughter) We were.

Jim: All right.

Jill: We were absolutely.

Mark: We were.

Jill: And we didn’t date very long, so we met. We were engaged three months later and we were married six months later.

Jim: Okay.

Jill: So, we got married before we’d known each other an entire year.

Jim: So, now you’re married. You’re getting to know each other and you’re realizing we’re on different ends at least, of the conflict resolution spectrum.

Jill: Yeah, I mean, it took a little while, you know.

Mark: Right.

Jill: It really took a little while.

Jim: Well, I thought it was like day five.

Jill: Well, no, that was our first argument.

Jim: Well, let’s talk about that. (Laughter)

Mark: I think that happened in Colorado.

Jill: It did happen in Colorado. (Laughter)

Jim: Well, that’s his fault. (Laughter) Hey, so what happened day five of your honeymoon?

Jill: We’re counting.

Jim: Now half the audience just went, yep, us, too and the other half went, “How could you do that on your honeymoon?”

Mark: Yeah, that’s what I asked.

Jill: Yeah. (Laughter)

Jim: [Why] did you do that in Colorado? It’s such a great place.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: We were camping up in the mountains, I think right outside of Colorado Springs.

Jim: Cheapskate.

Mark: I believe so. (laughter)

Mark: A beautiful stream.

Jill: You know, we were setting up the tent and it was raining. And we just really started getting irritated with each other.

John: That can be kind of arduous, trying to set a tent up in a rainstorm.

Jim: So, it’s muddy.

Mark and Jill: Yeah.

John: Everything’s gettin’ wet.

Jill: And all I remember is, I finally got angry and I took up off this hill. And I just was sure he was gonna come chasing after me.

Jim: So, you had a goal in taking off. You wanted him to pursue you.

Jill: Uh-hm. Guess what? He didn’t.

Jim: He was fixin’ (Laughter) the tent.

Jill: Oh, whatever. (Laughter)

Jim: We had things to do.

Mark: I’m like, now I can focus on this. (Laughter)

Jim: Finally she’s not nagging me, right? So, then you came off the hill it sounds like at some point.

Mark: Yes, [she] came back and I believe she was crying and, “I thought you would chase me.” (Laughter)

Jim: Perfect.

Mark: We apologized to each other and it started to rain more and we climbed inside the tent, but that definitely was the journey into marriage.

Jim: Oh, yeah, but usually for the woman, that is a deeper signal than for us guys. We think, oh, that’s nice. It all got healed up.

Jill: That was very scary.

Jim: You continued to think about it.

Jill: Yes.

Jim: And that’s what you thought?

Jill: And not only that, but because I’d never seen my parents argue.

Jim: Okay, so that was trauma right there.

Jill: So, it was.

John: You just had your first marital argument.

Jill: And I was thinking, we’re headed for divorce court, because that was so traumatic to me, because I’d never, ever seen that.

Jim: Now Jill, for the men in the audience that are, you know, tuning in to us right now, could you explain how the woman’s brain works where you go from having that kind of disagreement over the camping material, to this is gonna end in divorce court?

Jill: Right

Jim: And I don’t want to be gender specific.

Jill: Part of it is, you know, guys tend to be that compartmentalized.

Jim: Right, big picture, little picture.

Jill: And women tend to, you know, [have all] the boxes connected. There are no boxes.

Jim: Right.

Jill: And so, that really, I think plays into it. And then the emotion of it, fear plays into it. We play that out and so, fear takes over. And so, without a doubt, that argument didn’t stand alone. It took root in my heart with some fear, that I worried about would happen.

And it was our first, but it wasn’t our last. And so, you know, I can remember other times where I remember one time we were driving to church and we had an argument. my purse was sitting between us and he took my purse and threw it down. Now in his anger, he never, ever, you know, hurt me, but he was [physical]; he would punch things or whatever and that scared me.

Jim: Sure.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: It was very fearful.

Jim: What was going on in your head, Mark? I mean, when that would happen, was it just that burst of anger? I mean, obviously, you’re taking it out on other things, which is good.

Mark: Sure, yeah, which is good, but still immature. And I think at those moments, deep within me was an attempt to bring about a control and gain not necessarily control over Jill, but control over the situation and to stop the argument, to bring resolve. Looking back now, I realize how we struggled throughout our marriage at bringing about resolve.

Jim: So, how did you guys, you know, at what point in your marriage, fifth year, 10th year, yet you’ve been married how many years?

Jill: Almost 34.

Jim: Okay.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: So, 33 years (Laughter) you’re looking for these answers. Where did you begin to have some light shown into that? Where did the Lord opening up your hearts to say, “You know what? I made you. I can help you, but you gotta see what’s happening here.”

Jill: Uh-hm, really that was when we moved to Lincoln.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: We moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to Lincoln, Illinois, so that Mark could go to Lincoln Bible College, now Lincoln Christian University, to become a pastor. And it was a neighbor that reached out to help.

Mark: The neighbor, Jim met with me and said, “Hey, I think our stories are similar and I’d like to offer some help.” And he directed me to a Christian counselor and that began the journey of discovery and “uncovery,” I guess to uncover what was deep within. And that was quite a lengthy journey.

Jim: Oh, yeah and had you been pastoring yet or you were preparing to do that?

Mark: Preparing to pastor.

Jim: To pastor, so this is in your 20’s.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: Yeah so, you’re getting, thankfully, for a mentor. What a great thing that a neighbor was willing to say, “Hey, can I help?”

Mark: Oh, absolutely.

Jill: I know.

Jim: What a question.

Jill: We’ve often said and we need to go back and ask him, how come he reached out? Probably he heard us arguing, because we were next-door neighbors.

Jim: Right. (laughter)

Mark: Right.

Jill: And he probably did and I don’t know, you know, because we really hadn’t shared stories yet, but he just saw himself in Mark and reached out and took a risk.

Jim: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: Thankfully took a risk, ’cause sometimes we want to say, “I’m gonna mind my own business.” But honestly, I would thank Jim, because he probably changed the trajectory of your life and our marriage.

Jim: Wow.

Mark: Absolutely, yeah.

Jim: That’s a statement there. Boy, it’d be great for more Christians to get engaged that way, appropriately. You’re listening to “Focus on the Family.” Our guests today are Mark and Jill Savage. They’ve written a wonderful book, a resource, a tool for all of us married couples called No More Perfect Marriages and we’re gettin’ into the story here.

Jim: So, you’re not healed at that point. You’re still having conflict. Your neighbor’s coaching you, mentoring you. Jill, did you have anybody to turn to?

Jill: I didn’t and during that season, it was interesting. I was doing daycare in my home during the day and I was working in a dinner theater at night. And the dinner theater is where we would act, we would do plays, but we were the waiters and the waitresses, as well.

And I found myself during that season actually attracted to a man I was working with and that was a scary place for me. And I somewhat entertained that. Nothing happened, but I was entertaining it in my head and my heart. And I found myself looking forward to going to work more than coming home.

Jim: Hm.

Jill: And finally, I just knew I needed to do something about that. And I came home one night from work and I told Mark. I laid it out there and I said, “I need you to understand that I’m struggling with something and I’m attracted to this person and I don’t know what to do.” And I was so grateful. I was very fearful that he would handle that with anger.

Mark: Uh-hm.

Jill: But I don’t know, God had really been starting to work on his heart in meeting with Jim and he’d been going to a counselor that Jim had introduced him to. And I think that he responded in a very loving way.

Jim: How long had you been married at this point?

Jill: That would’ve been four years.

Jim: So, you’d been married four years, neighbor mentoring you.

Mark and Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: This crisis comes up. It was very bold of you, I think to come and tell Mark.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: It was very scary. It was very scary, but I knew and you know, what I’ve learned is, when you shine the light on something in the dark, it takes away some of the hold it has on you.

Jim: Yeah, ’cause this is the moment. It’s like John 10:10. You know, the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy.

Jill: Yes.

Mark: Uh-hm.

Jim: These are the moments. This is the environment I think the enemy of our soul is looking for to accomplish that mission that is stated right there in Scripture to take you down.

Jill: Yeah.

Jim: And I don’t think those things are coincidental. I think your heart, your emotions are open to sin.

Jill: I was primed; I was primed for it.

Jim: You were, yeah.

Jill: ‘Cause things weren’t happy at home.

Jim: Right and I want people to hear that, that may be living in that spot right now, that battlefield, you’re just putting your foot on it, if you’re where Jill was at, where you’re entertaining thoughts. You want to be with that coworker more than be at home. That’s the red flag time.

Jill: It is.

Mark: Right.

Jill: A major red flag.

Jim: How did you [come] and tell Mark about it; [it’s] amazing that you had the wisdom to do that. How did you battle through that day one, week one, two months later, six months later? What did you do to pull yourself off that temptation battlefield?

Jill: Well, the first thing was putting it out there. And I’ll tell you, that probably took away at least half of the pull, because it was in the dark and so, in the dark it was growing inside of me.

He responded [well]. One of the things we talk about in No More Perfect Marriages is are you safe for your spouse to be honest with things? And he was safe that night. I’m grateful for that.

Jim: But you weren’t sure, but he proved he could be.

Jill: I wasn’t sure, no I wasn’t and ultimately what we determined is, we weren’t investing in our marriage. We were burnin’ the candles at both ends. I was working day and night to put food on the table. He was going to school full time and this isn’t healthy. So, we knew we have to change that and I quit my job. I had to quit my job.

Jim: Right and you did that, so you did all the right things really to take yourself out of that danger zone.

Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: Mark, did you feel in your heart of hearts, if I could ask you man to man when she said that to you, you gave the right response.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: You were almost trained, it feels like by your mentor and neighbor who was helping you think through spiritually the way to respond, how to manage your anger.

Mark: Uh-hm.

Jim: But was there a place there where you’re goin’, “Can I trust Jill in the future? Is this gonna lead somewhere with somebody else that might not be?”

Mark: I honestly did not have that response.

Jim: That’s good.

Mark: I responded with a sense that I had created an environment for Jill to not be happy.

Jim: So, you owned it.

Mark: I owned it and in looking back, there [are] different seasons that have been opened up by conflict. And so often, when those conflicts happen, we will pull back or reject the opportunity. And I just saw more opportunity to keep becoming the man I needed to become that, that was priority.

John: Wow, that’s a pretty mature response.

Mark: For a pretty immature guy, it was. (Laughter) So that didn’t come from me.

Jim: Well, that’s fair. I mean, that’s the reaction you want.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: But that’s not the end of the story.

Mark: No.

Jim: You continued to hopefully, build into your marriage.

Mark and Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: But there [are] still obstacles in front of you and actually, the shoe goes on the other foot.

Jill: Uh-hm.

Jim: And Mark, you’re the one now challenged about your satisfaction at home and where you’re at, at home.

Mark: Uh-hm.

Jim: We’re right near the end of today’s program (Chuckling).

Mark: Right.

Jim: So, just if we can and we’ll come back next time and explore that in more depth, but describe for us at least and we’ll let everybody have to hang on this overnight describe that environment, how many years later it was from this time that Jill had talked with you and her thought life and then what was going on with you?

Jill: Uh-hm.

Mark: Okay, so, we were in year probably 28 or 29.

Jim: So, you’re pastoring already.

Mark: Pastoring, numerous ministries, successful ministries, but I was in a place where I was deeply worn out and angry at the church, disillusioned with God. I was disillusioned with everything. And I realized later that I was in a mid-life crisis and didn’t honestly believe that those existed until I found myself in one.

Jim: Well, it’s important to explain that though, because some people may be right where you were at. They’re not lookin’ forward to gettin’ up every day.

Mark: Right.

Jim: Life is a load on their back. Get into that a little bit more, so that people listening can say, “I am there” or “I am close to there.” Give us more of that.

Mark: I was there. I was worn out with the arguments–

Jim: In the church and in the home.

Mark: –in the church, at home, arguments with God, disillusioned with the things that He promises and I wasn’t seeing them happen. I had always struggled as a part of my family DNA with depression and especially in the winter months that would weigh a little more heavily.

And so, I found myself retiring from the church and looking forward to a new season with Jill and that wasn’t playing out the way I had envisioned and I just gave up. I just said, “Forget it; I’m tired of this. I’m walkin’ away from everything.” And I found myself in an affair that happened right in the middle of that decision.

Jim: And we’re gonna come back and talk about that, because obviously the Lord did a miracle in your marriage. You’re here today and it’s a fascinating story, especially given the chronology of it, Jill having that first inkling many years before and then in the midst of what I would describe as your depression that mid-life crisis as you’ve described it, even being full of the knowledge of God a pastor for 20 years.

Mark: Yeah.

Jim: It happened.

Mark: Yes.

Jim: And I want, if you’re willing, to come back next time and talk about that, so that we can [and] you can and the Lord can use that testimony He’s given you, both you and Jill, to touch the lives of perhaps thousands of other married couples. Can we do that?

Mark: Absolutely, yep.

 

Closing:

John: Well, wow, we’ve heard some pretty candid admissions from a couple that many would think have had a perfect marriage, if they didn’t know some of your writing and your transparency prior to this point. And we so appreciate your vulnerability.

It might be that as a listener, you’re thinking, as Jim said, that’s me. Give us a call if you’re struggling right now in your marriage or in some other aspect of your life. If you’re at a point of thinking it’s not worth it anymore, call us. We have caring Christian counselors who can talk with you, that can give you some first steps to take to repair damage done in your marriage.

We also have Hope Restored, which is a four-day intensive getaway for couples who are frankly, right at the brink of divorce. So many actually have signed the divorce papers, but they come. They get help and they find themselves so often sticking together, despite the challenges that they’re going through at the moment. All of this and much, much more when you call 800-232-6459; 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: John, let me also add, this is a terrific resource, Mark and Jill’s book, No More Perfect Marriages. That’s a great place to start. Maybe you’re quiet about this. You’re saying I have had those thoughts of my coworker or you know, fill in the blank. Whatever that situation might be pulling you away from building into your marriage, it’s actually beginning to take the bricks away from the building of your marriage.

Jim: Get this resource and I believe in it so much, just if you can make a gift of any amount, if you can’t afford it, just call us and we’ll put this resource into your hands as our way of saying thank you. Because you know what, folks? In the Christian community particularly–I know we have non-Christians listening–but we have got to do a better job in our marriages. I believe that. I believe that is why Focus is here. It’s why your church is there. It is to get your family moving in a better direction and a committed direction to God. So, let us put this resource in your hands one way or another.

And if you can support Focus to help us do that, that would be great, too. Send a gift and support the ministry, because we wouldn’t be here without you. That’s how it operates. And we also need to hear from you.

John: Well, donate when you call and again, that number, 800-A-FAMILY or online at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. And of course, request a CD or download of our conversation or listen on the Focus on the Family mobile app. It’s available at iTunes and Google Play and those will include the conversation next time, as well.

And coming up, how Mark and Jill Savage slowly began to see restoration occur in their marriage.

Excerpt:

Mrs. Jill Savage: And my counselor was helpful in trying to figure out the balance between grace-filled love and boundary-filled love and there had to be both.

End of Excerpt

John: I’m John Fuller and on behalf of Focus president, Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening. Join us again next time, as we once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

No More Perfect Marriages

Receive Mark and Jill Savage's book No More Perfect Marriages for your donation of any amount!

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Robert and Pamela Crosby help married couples understand and celebrate their gender differences so that they can enjoy a stronger bond and deeper intimacy. Our guests offer practical tips for improved communication, successful conflict resolution and offering affirmation to your spouse. (Part 1 of 2)

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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